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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

To compensate for the lack of a 3.5mm headphone port on the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Apple yesterday introduced the "AirPods." The wireless headphones give users 5 hours of music playback, and come in a carrying case that doubles as a battery pack, holding an extra 24 hours of charge in a small, 2-inch tall frame.

Following the keynote presentation yesterday, Apple let a few members of the press test out its new pieces of hardware, including the iPhone 7, Apple Watch Series 2, and the AirPods. Although the noisy showroom made it tough for many journalists to judge the headphones' sound quality -- which Apple says is "rich, high quality AAC audio" -- many left impressed with the new technology, and curious to see how they'd perform on a day-to-day basis.

Images via TechCrunch

TechCrunch noted the subtle advantages of AirPods and their existence in the Apple ecosystem, mainly the seamless way that the headphones pause music automatically whenever users take them out of their ears, and resume the same track when returned. The site was less sure of the design of the AirPods, particularly whether or not the small headphones would stay in place during jogs or other strenuous workouts, although the "long tail" of the AirPods "actually goes a ways toward helping them fit better in the ear."
It's an interesting aesthetic choice, one that bucks the recent trend of fully wireless Bluetooth headphones, which are largely circular. These maintain the EarPods' long tail, which actually goes a ways toward helping them fit better in the ear.

As far as how well they'll actually stay in there if you, say, go for a jog, it's hard to say, though the buds could certainly benefit for some sort of anchoring system akin to what you get on sportsbuds from companies like JayBird.
As a counter-argument to everyone's concerns over whether the AirPods can become dislodged while moving, USA Today digital editor Natalie DiBlasio posted a short video on Twitter to test out the AirPods' resistance to jumping and shaking around. Only 9 seconds long, DiBlasio's test is still interesting as proof that the AirPods appear lodged well enough in her ears as to resist her movement test, although a long run with more sweat and motion could prove a more daunting task for Apple's wireless headphones.

Alright, the Apple wireless Air Pods are in! Let's see how they do with some jumping and shaking. #AppleEvent - Natalie DiBlasio (@ndiblasio) September 7, 2016
CNET's editors gave some of the more positive impressions of the AirPods, calling the new headphones "game-changers," with the caveat of the device living up to Apple's promised potential of high quality music and a consistent connection. There still remains worry over how different sized ears will work with the AirPods, which could cause unfortunately negative experiences for some users.
If they're as easy to pair with your phone and have as rock-solid a connection as Apple is saying they have, they're going to be game-changers. The fact is, once you go totally wireless, it's hard to go back to wires, and with Apple's backing behind this new type of headphone -- and a $159 price tag that's not too outrageous -- you may soon be looking at a lot people wearing the same white earbuds but with no wires between them.

Wired left impressed with what the AirPods could do for the wireless headphone market, particularly in the hassle-free set-up process, but was noticeably more hopeful for "something that looks and sounds better" than the AirPods to come down the line in the future. For what Apple's made now, the site still noted that the AirPods were "much lighter" than other Bluetooth headphones, and they "nestled comfortably" in the ear.
I hope that AirPods don't scare everyone else off from trying to make Bluetooth headphones. I don't think they will, because they don't sound good enough. And these aren't the ones that will ship in the box with your iPhone 7; you get the standard EarPods when you buy an iPhone, which connect over Lightning now. (There's also an adapter.) But hopefully Apple has set the bar for how easy it should be to connect Bluetooth headphones, and how responsive they should be. If someone can copy that, and make something that looks and sounds better, we might not miss the headphone jack at all.
Since the features of the AirPods are so focused, much of the other reactions and impressions for the device echo similar opinions as the ones we've collected above. It sounds like Apple's made a quality, if high-priced, pair of wireless headphones that might be aimed more at casual music listening than intense workouts, undoubtedly a market the new Beats headphones will help bolster. For more impressions on the AirPods, check out the sites below:

- Engadget
- Macworld
- The Verge
- The Telegraph

Article Link: AirPods Impressions: Potential 'Game-Changer' With Good Design, but Will They Stay in the Ear?


macrumors 68030
Jan 15, 2016
The hyperbole was a bit in overdrive yesterday.

The AirPods design ain't crash hot either, two thin cigarettes coming out of one's ear.
This mock design is closer to being right.


Instead of straight stems, maybe something more from nature, circular, in the form of a spiral.


What I did like was the promo video narrated by Jony Ive.

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macrumors newbie
Dec 13, 2012
I can't use earbuds at all. On-ear headphones for me. Fortunately there are already plenty of good third-party wireless options on the market.
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Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
CNET's editors gave some of the more positive impressions of the AirPods, calling the new headphones "game-changers," with the caveat of the device living up to Apple's promised potential of high quality music and a consistent connection.
"Game changer" isn't the first phrase that comes to my mind when thinking about these new things, especially considering the cost and a single available color. Wireless, regardless of which technology, isn't new and isn't a game changer anymore.


macrumors 604
Mar 11, 2013
I know that the original EarPods were actually the most conformable on-ear almost in-ear buds I've ever personally used. Much better than the told ones and they've never fallen out on me.

Everyone's ears are different though. I assume that if you hate the EarPods, you'll hate these too. Still, despite my reservations about price, I am really tempted by these.


Aug 13, 2012
More vertical marketing by Apple - you'll need to purchase Apple curated headbands to wear to be sure those AirPods to fall out while you're on the move AND, the best part, they're being curated to match your Apple Series 2 watchbands - don't be caught dead without them.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2002
Central Texas
Can't wait till they come up with proprietary solutions for the rest of the wireless standards as well now that they have no more cables to replace with something Apple only. It will be very daring and courageous of them to do away with bluetooth and wifi antennas some day to make room for some magical Apple made replacement. Better start saving my money now for those sure to be expensive peripherals.
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macrumors 68000
Jun 6, 2005
CNN says, "If they...[live up to marketing hype that essentially describes them behaving very similar to other high end bluetooth headphones].. they will be games changers." What game are they changing? Has gamechanger jumped the shark? The original iPhone was a gamechanger. New wireless headphones? C'mon.


macrumors 68020
Nov 15, 2011
These appear to be the same shape as the current earbuds.

I don't understand all of the "will these stay in my ears?" questions...

Did the earbuds in your recent iPhone(s) stay in? Yes? Then chances are these will too. No? Probably won't want to get these....

Why is this such a big question when we have a nearly identical product in our hands today?


macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2007
Great "design" in terms of fit to my ears... but it doesn't cancel noise at all. So hard to use inside a busy train filled with people and noise.
If it's the "in ear" one that's wireless, I'm sold.


macrumors newbie
Sep 17, 2014
"To compensate for the lack of a 3.5mm headphone port on the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Apple yesterday introduced the..." EarPods with Lightning Connector

To accommodate a technology that has been in iPhones since their inception, Apple introduced the "AirPods"
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macrumors 68000
Mar 5, 2011
I like their direction, the custom silicon, and ease of connection.

Price isn't horrific, but $99 would've made them a quick top seller.

My only qualm is that these style earbuds suck in my ears. They also don't do a good job of isolating outside noise.

I'll stick to my Jaybirds for now


Apr 29, 2012

"Now, that plastic has been a deal-breaker for me for years—I hate how normal EarPods feel in my ears. They don’t seem like they’re going to stay put, and they simply fall out if I move my head too much. Even if they do stay in, after about a half hour, my ears just start to ache, although I don’t experience the same pain when using earbuds with silicone or foam tips. Since the AirPods look so similar, I expected them to feel the same too—and I’m surprised and happy to report that I was dead wrong."

"Not only did I dance, I headbanged. I shook my head side to side, I tossed my hair, I jogged in place, and I looked silly doing all of it. The AirPods stayed put, and they stayed loud."

Can't wait to get my hands on these.


macrumors 6502
Jun 6, 2014
"If someone can copy that, and make something that looks and sounds better, we might not miss the headphone jack at all."

The fact is that while other bluetooth headphones may sound than the AirPods, they will never sound as good and will never be as reliable as the same hardware connected via a wired connection, whether or not that connection is through a 3.5mm jack or a lightning port.


macrumors 68030
Jun 8, 2009
They use a different, proprietary standard for certain types of connectivity (i.e. Siri integration among others) but all the sound you hear is over old school Bluetooth.

Then I cannot imagine the quality of the sound will be very good....
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Jul 29, 2010
Interested to see what Bose comes out with as a competing product. People love to hate on Bose but their SoundSport earphones ($100) are a great upgrade. And most likely Bose will have black or grey.
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